Fight for “Jajja Tova Ku Main” Slogan Attracts Third Claimant

As the ruling National Resistence Movement intensifies its campaign to retain the country’s presidency in 2026, a third party member has risen to claim ownership of the slogan, Jajja Tova ku main.

The slogan which gained popularity late in 2022 states in its complete form “Omalako Jajja Tova Ku main; Tova Ku Ballot (“You’re fit, Grandpa; don’t leave the main track, Stay on the Ballot”): We command you to stand again in 2026 and Beyond: Bazzukulu ba Museveni “.

It has been used at NRM functions and events where President Yoweri Museveni has been endorsed to continue beyond his four decades and seek to rule after 2026. The slogan is used as a representation of the stand of the pro Museveni Youth whom he has consistently referred to as Bazzukulu (grandchildren), for him to extend his rule.

The slogan has however caused a a fight involving NRM supporters some of the party’s allies as different parties claim its creation.

Frank Gashumba, a social and political commentator, in May 2023, applied to the Uganda Registration Services Bureau -URSB for a copyright of the slogan. In his application number UG/C/2023/89, Gashumba noted that he was the creator of the slogan birthed on 16th May 2023.

He claims to have coined the catchphrase on the request of the Head of the NRM Office of National Chairman (ONC) Hadijah Uzeiye Namyalo.

“Namyalo gave me the assignment on account of being good brand strategist and as a businessman, I said fine: I don’t support NRM, I don’t subscribe to NRM, but this is purely business,” Gashumba is quoted by local media saying. “I consulted my brother because he understands these things. So, we came up with Toweta Jajja. Tova Ku main.”

Subsequently, the URSB published a notice of registration on 23rd May 2023 inviting any member of the public with an objection to the application to raise it. The law grants 60 days from the day of publishing the notice of application for anyone to raise their objections.

Hadijah Uzeiye Namyalo promptly objected to the application in her letter to the Registrar of Copyright dated 5th June 2023 also claiming ownership of slogan. Namyalo asserted that she started to use the slogan, officially, on 19th October 2022 at her offices in Kyambogo when she launched a bid urging president Museveni to contest again for the presidency come 2026.

“The registration of the copyright for the aforementioned work by the applicant will cause confusion among the public regarding the true originator of the phrase” argued Namyalo as she appealed to the Registrar of Copyright to reject Gashumba’s application.

But before Gashumba and Namyalo’s squabble is resolved, the NRM National Vice Chairman and Lwengo District LC V Chairman Ibrahim Kitatta has joined the conflict with a similar claim to the slogan. In a letter dated 26th June 2023, Kitatta wants the Registrar of Copyright to reject Gashumba’s application to the registration of the slogan because he owns it. He’s also objectes to Namyalo’s claim.

Kitatta says that he is the originator of the slogan having launched it on 17th October 2022 at Zebra Hotel, Mbarara City. This makes it two days prior to the launch of the same slogan by Namyalo. Kitatta says that he applied for the right to the copyright on 27th January 2023 and that on 13th February 2023, URSB issued a notice of application. The notice, he says, was gazzetted on 24th February 2023 on page number 338 under the General Notice number 476 of 2023.

“…whereupon no objection was raised against my application by the applicant and Hajjat Hadija Uzeiye Namyalo within the required sixty days, whereas they were fully aware of the Gazzette Notice since they are responsible citizens of Uganda. After you being fully satisfied that I have provided all neccessary information and followed the due process of law, you rightly registered me as the author or owner or holder of the copyright in respect of Omalako Jajja Tova Ku Main and consequently on 4th May 2023 issued me with a certificate of registration No.6 of 2023 as proof of my registration ” says Kitatta in his letter of objection.

He thus asserts his right to copyright protection, adding that his work is original, a product of his independent efforts which he has reduced to material form making it eligible for copyright protection.

“I hold the exclusive rights to this creative work and oppose any attempt to claim copyright ownership over it by the applicant and Hajjat Uzeiye Namyalo,” argues Kitatta. “I object to the aforementioned application as a way of protecting my work from infringement as a holder of copyright”.

Although the slogan has attracted different interests, the president has not made any public pronouncements for or against it. The first son, Muhoozi Kainerugaba, in a tweet dismissed the slogan as having nothing to do with his family and associating it with gangsters.

Nethertheless, Namyalo and Kitatta are members of the NRM while Gashumba is a known NRM sympathiser and part of the MK movement which is popularising Kainerugaba as a deserving successors of his father’s.

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